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Walsh in line for Jezki mount





Mark Walsh has been lined up to ride Jezki in Sunday's StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in the event Barry Geraghty is unavailable.

With owner JP McManus' retained rider Tony McCoy sidelined by injury, Geraghty is the obvious choice to partner the Jessica Harrington-trained six-year-old having steered him to glory in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

However, it emerged on Monday that Geraghty could be required by Nicky Henderson to ride at Cheltenham on Sunday and Walsh, who rides the majority of McManus' Irish-based horses, will be on board if that is the case.

McManus' racing manager Frank Berry said: "Mark will ride him if Barry can't, so we'll see what happens.

"The horse worked this morning and Jessica was delighted with him, so fingers crossed all goes well for the next few days."

A fifth clash with Hurricane Fly remains on the cards after both horses appeared among six remaining contenders for the Morgiana.

Jezki beat Hurricane Fly at Cheltenham and at Punchestown in the spring, but Willie Mullins' 19-times Grade One winner had Jessica Harrington's charge behind when landing his fourth Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown and in the Ryanair Hurdle over Christmas.

Hurricane Fly is set to bid for a third successive Morgiana triumph, and Mullins said: "He's been working well up to now and I think he's at least as fit as he was last year. He'll probably have to be a bit fitter if Jezki turns up, but that's the way he is."

Colin Bowe's prolific mare Little King Robin remains a possible runner. Pat Shanahan's King Of The Picts, the Christy Roche-trained Lethal Weapon and Princess Leya from Mags Mullins' yard complete the entries.

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